Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Insight Into Women's Role In Judaism

A Dixie Yid posts an article by Rebbetzin Devorah Heshelis the author of a new book, The Moon's Lost Light. Dixie Yid writes that:
she tells the amazing story of how she had been bothered her entire life growing up in Bais Yaakov in the Lower East Side by the apparant inequality of women in Yiddishkeit. Her example of constant searching, learning and davening are a tremendous lesson for us. My sense is that this book is different from any other and will begin to truly open up your understanding of this topic through sources from both Niglah and Nistar. You can get ahold of her book from Targum HERE (for 30% discount). You can also read a great review of the book by Meyer Twersky in Jewish Action Magazine HERE.
In her article, Rebbetzin Heshelis writes about her journey to discovery of women's true role in Judaism:
The process took over twenty years. First I found out from some of the tradition commentaries that I read that women’s inequality was coming from Chava (Eve’s) sin. That meant that women’s lower status was not how it was originally meant to be, and the way things are now is not the ideal. This in itself was comforting. It showed that Hashem “agreed” that women being unequal was not how He really wanted it to be.

Then I found out about the verse in Jeremiah 31:21 which prophecizes that women will become equal with men. Literally the verse reads “nekevah tisovev gever”. There are many explanations of this phrase, but the deeper commentaries explain it to mean that in the future females would have equal spiritual perception with men. (Later I found out that it also means that women would learn Torah, and would become equal in other ways as well.) But this still didn’t make sense to me, because as far as I could see women already had equal spiritual perception with men. Finally, when I was about 40 years old I read an amazing book called Kol HaTor. Written by a student of the great Gaon of Vilna, it contained his secret teachings on what would happen before the redemption.
Read the entire article.

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1 comment:

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Thank you for the link. very worthwhile article I think and worth seeing. Thanks for the well thought out link-post. Yasher koach and gut Shabbos!

-Dixie Yid